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Research Guides

A Nation's Imagination: Australia’s Copyright Records, 1854–1968

All notes

Introduction | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 5



1 Lahore, Intellectual Property Law in Australia: Copyright, Butterworths, Sydney, 1977, pp. 21–23.

2 Lahore, pp. 27–29

3 In the period covering records in this guide, conventions were held at Berne (1886), Paris (1896), Berlin (1908), Berne (1914), Rome (1928) and Stockholm (1967).

4 Lahore, p. 413. Australia became a member of the Berne Union in its own right on 14 April 1928, and became a party to the Universal Copyright Convention on 1 May 1969 (Lahore, p. 366).

5 ibid., p. 414.

6 The Copyright Act 1968 was proclaimed on 27 June 1968 and commenced on 1 May 1969.

7 NAA: AP476/7, 1356/1906, The Copyright Act 1905, clause 6.

8 NAA: A1336, 13061, Listen to This, applicant, Jack Moses; and A1336, 19695, The Jerry Builders, applicant, Leenert Randolph Spaander.

Chapter 1

What Shaped the Imagination

9 Robert Hughes, The Art of Australia, rev. edn, Penguin Books Ltd, Harmondsworth, UK, 1970, p. 50. Later (p. 194), when discussing the work of artist Russell Drysdale, Hughes asserts that the paintings the Sydney Morning Herald commissioned the artist to paint in order to illustrate its coverage of the 1944 drought made Drysdale's name as an artist. In this case it seems a drought contributed directly to art history.

10 There can have been few men so brave or foolhardy as the miffed Professor Richard, who registered his intention to air his grievances in more than one colony.

11 NAA: A1718, 542, King Bungaree's Pyalla, assignment of copyright; Mary Ann Paterson's Will and Codicil; Gertrude FitzGerald, 1914.

12 NAA: A1336, 295, Advertising Phonograph Graphophones Gramophone Records; letter from the Registrar, 2 November 1907.

13 NAA: A1336, 292, Robbery Under Arms or Starlight, the Claude Duval of Australia, copyright application; and A1336, 304, Robbery Under Arms or Starlight, the Claude Duval of Australia, performing right application and letter from MacMahon's solicitor, Neville W Montagu, 1 November 1907.

14 For an example, see NAA: A1336, 16757, The Complete Inner History of the Kelly Gang of Bushrangers, copyright application (item digitised).

15 NAA: A1336, 54573, Unknown Destination, Sandor Berger, exhibit item, 1954; A1861, 8272, 'Erotica'. Bare Sides Design Swimsuit, Sandor Berger, exhibit item, 1967.

16 For example, see NAA: A1786, 1374, Postcard, Chung Ling Soo, Magician, Chung Ling Soo, 1909. This registration includes a power-of-attorney from Chung Ling Soo to his accountant. It is written on highly decorated letterhead that bears the performer's portrait. See also A1861, 1375, Postcard. Chung Ling Soo and Company, Chung Ling Soo, 1909 (item includes a photograph of the troupe); and A1721, 6, Photographic Copy of Plaster Bust of Sir John Forrest by Pietro Porcelli, A Pickering, 1898.

17 NAA: A1786, 8863B, Alexandra Theatre poster, 12 February 1898, exhibit. Anyone fortunate enough to see the ill-fated 1997 production Black Mary, with its horses and sandy hills, was treated to some small sense of what it must have been like to sit in a nineteenth-century theatre and be enthralled by the great spectacle scenes of those melodramas. Black Mary was a Company B Belvoir production in the Festival of the Dreaming. Written by Julie Janson, it tells the story of Maryanne Ward who was the bushranger Captain Thunderbolt's Indigenous wife. The play opened on 16 September 1997, but the season was forced to close early because the theatre seating collapsed, echoing, fortunately less disastrously, the usually firey calamaties that befell some colonial theatres and productions.

18 NAA: A1336, 50219, The Shark Arm Case, Philip James O'Donnell, exhibit copy, 1951.

19 NAA: A1336, 776, Map Numbered 54 Exhibiting the topography of portion of the metropolitan drainage area (which embraces the city of Hobart and portion of the town of New Town) the boundaries of the various lands therein and the buildings and fences erected on such lands, the Metropolitan Drainage Board, exhibit copy, 1908.

20 NAA: A1336, 178, Burlesque Acts: 'Dangerous Egg and Ned Kelly Hands Up', George Campbell, exhibit copy, 1907.

21 The Castle, film by Working Dog Productions, 1997.

22 NAA: A1336, 34054, Forty Thousand Horsemen, exhibit, 1940; A1336, 24604, The Chauvel School of Scenario Writing, 1933; and A1336, 24605, The Chauvel Course of Scenario Writing in 7 Lessons, 1933–34.

23 For an example, see NAA: A1336, 50382, Aboriginal Legends, Robert Lauelle and Pritchard Belmont, 1951.

24 Please note that the names of Indigenous people found in records may not be made publicly available for reasons of cultural or personal sensitivity.

25 NAA: A1336, 52158, Aboriginal Legends and Folk-lore of the Dream Time, William Byram Mansell, 1952; and
NAA: A1336, 124, Victoria – Place Names and Their Origin, John George Saxton, 1907.

26 An example of the treatment of Indigenous characters can be found in NAA: A1336, 1166, The Bushwoman, Joseph Smith, 1909.

27 NAA: A1336, 578, Fowlers Pottery, Jane, Edith, Robert and Enoch Fowler, trading together as R Fowler, 1908; and
A1336, 11016, Fowler's Method of Bottling Fruits and Vegetables, Joseph Fowler, 1923.

28 NAA: A1336, U19, Eighty-five Years in Australia, A Crawford, exhibit copy, 1925.

29 NAA: A1336, 221, At the Glacierium…, Leopold Frederick Collin, exhibit item, 1907.

30 See NAA: AP476/4, B345, Selections of Poetry, John Carruth, 1891 – one of many coyly sentimental death-related contributions to culture.

31 NAA: A1723, 80, Our Mother Queen, exhibit copy, 1901.

32 NAA: A1336, 3725, It's Grand to Have a Pal Like England, Brinkley and Lewis, 1914.

33 For example, NAA: A1861, 7769, Lamb's Head on Map of Australia, exhibit item. This 1958 registration by agronomist Robert Franklyn Komoll was possibly not the success the applicant hoped. Intended as an aid to lamb marketing, the sketched head unfortunately looks rather more like that scourge of the Australian landscape, the rabbit.

34 NAA: A1719, 1911C, General Gordon Sacrificed: The Hero of Khartoum, exhibit copy, 1884.

35 NAA: A1716, 199, The War: Britons v Boers (pp. 40–41), registration and exhibit, 1900.

36 For example, NAA: A1336, 3589, Map of the Seat of War, exhibit copy, 1914.

37 NAA: A1336, 3648, The Heel-less War Sock, registered by Bessie Favenc, 1914. See also A1336, 3738, The Interpreter, The Soldier's Friend, Alfred Amedee, 1914; and A1336, 3347, Cash's Woven Names for Marking Underwear, Socks, Blankets, registered by J and J Cash Ltd, 1914–29.

38 NAA: A1861, 7008, Honour Roll, exhibit item, 1941.

39 NAA: A1861, 6972, Series of Comic Sketches, B L B Australian Services Cartoons (Bluey, Lofty and Blinker), exhibit item, 1940.

40 NAA: A1861, 7093, Wanda the War Girl, Kathleen O'Brien (artist) and Clifford William Brian (journalist), Sunday Telegraph (Sydney), 14 February 1943.

41 NAA: A1336, 1656, The Winning Ticket, 1910.

42 NAA: A1336, 3081, Broadbent's Motor Route Melbourne to Sydney and Back The Grand Overland Tour with Maps and Detailed Description of Road Mileage Hotels Garages Etc, exhibit item, George Robert Broadbent, 1913.

43 NAA: A1336, 18396, Test Match Cricket Averages, exhibit item, Eric Edward Poole, 1939; A1861, 6270, A model surf board with Crest and 'Manley, N.S.W', exhibit item, 1931; A1336, 10, How To Shoot the Breakers: By an Expert, Arthur Kingston Rosenthall, exhibit item, 1907; and A1336, 15874, How to Play Billiards, Walter Lindrum, exhibit item, 1927 (item digitised).

44 NAA: A1861, 2006, Postcard, Headless Man Riding a Pig, registration and exhibit, 1910.

45 ibid

46 NAA: A1861, 5823, Work of Craftsmanship, A Little Bit of Australia, 1928.

47 NAA: A1336, 412, Shreck's Poultice, William Henry Shreck, 1908; and A1336, 123, Breaking the Fetters – An Appeal to Enlightened Humanity, Henry Hensoldt, exhibit, 1907.

48 NAA: A1716, 252, E D Miles and Co.'s Private Telegraphic Code, exhibit only, 1902.

Chapter 2

Colonial Copyright

49 The Colony of New South Wales enacted Australia's first copyright legislation in 1852 (replaced in 1879 by other legislation), followed by Victoria (1869), South Australia (1878), Queensland (1887) and Western Australia (1895).

50 Information on this collection was kindly supplied by Ms Christine Downer, Curator, and Mr Michael Galimany, Registrar, of the La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria.

51 John Braham, song composer, 1777–1856

52 The Australian Encyclopaedia, vol. VIII, Sydney: Grolier Society of Australia, 1963, p. 262.

53 NAA: AP474/7, 573/1891.

Chapter 3

Commonwealth Copyright

54 Lahore, p. 32.

55 ibid., p. 4.

Chapter 5

Searching Further Afield in the Archives

56 Film and video available for screening in Australia is now given a rating classification by the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC). The rating classifications indicate the suitability of the material for viewing by those under 18 years of age and provide guidelines as to the type of material likely to be encountered. It is rare, but not unheard of, for the OFLC to cut material.

57 This letter was written by Hugh J Murphy, Immigration Publicity Officer, to Mr R E Armstrong, Secretary, Department of Immigration, 10 January 1951.